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Rankin started important conversation in bid for Senate

2014-05-06T00:00:00Z 2014-05-06T14:54:07Z Rankin started important conversation in bid for Senate The Billings Gazette
May 06, 2014 12:00 am

Sam Rankin has ended his bid for the Senate. Running as an Independent, he needed to collect nearly 18,000 voter signatures to put his name on the November ballot and fell short.

But Rankin tried. For 30 years, through his work with Common Cause and a few political campaigns, he tried to show voters that the solid, moral foundation on which our country was built is rapidly being undermined by money corruption.

It's a shame more Americans do not recognize the problem. Our representatives cannot be trusted to represent the people because they are already indebted to those with deep pockets — the special interest PACS, superPACS and armies of lobbyists who put them in office and keep them there. Washington is a revolving door; industry employees become regulators to the very industries they left, and our representatives take jobs with the industries they champion.

Each election cycle millions of dollars are spent to influence elections, much of it coming from rich and powerful anonymous sources who prefer to manipulate voters from the shadows. If our country continues down this path, it isn't going to end well.

Rankin tried to warn people, to help them see the problem and understand. Maybe voters just don't want to accept what their government has become. Maybe they just aren't ready. But Sam Rankin started a conversation and other leaders will rise to follow his lead. For that, I thank him for his service.

David Scott Smith

Billings

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